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The recent death of a Kadar tribesman in Tamil Nadu’s Anamalai Tiger Reserve in an elephant attack has left the indigenous community and conservationists in shock as Kadars are known to co-exist with wild elephants for ages.

  • They are a small indigenous tribal community in South India.
  • They reside along the hilly border between Cochin in Kerala and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.
  • They are traditional forest dwellers who depend on forest produce for sustenance. They do not practice agriculture, building shelters thatched with leaves and shifting locations as their employment requires.
  • They prefer to eat rice obtained in a trade or as wages rather than to subsist on food of their own gathering.
  • They have long served as specialized collectors of honey, wax, sago, cardamom, ginger, and umbrella sticks for trade with merchants from the plains.
  • They have a symbiotic relationship with nature, and they believe in the coexistence of Kadar and Kaadu (forest).
  • The Kadar have traditional protocols to ensure the sustainable use of forest resources.